The League of Women Voters hosted another candidate forum last night at Horizon House, this time for the mayoral hopefuls. And once again, the grandmothers were extremely supportive.
Not allowed at Horizon House.
The forums at Horizon are one of the only places you can expect to see the farthest fringe candidates. And the audience responds to them just as seriously as to the Jan Dragos and Mike McGinns. Kwame Wyking Garrett got a fair shake. Rhetorically, he punted to platitudes--"it takes a village" and "you don't throw good money after bad". But the audience responded to his assertion that all children deserve a quality education with nods of affirmation.
Mary Juanita Martin, who is officially out of the race, was even given full reign to wax eloquent about the value of socialism and the myriad ways in which capitalism has contributed to the downfall of society as we know it. There was a few whispered objections when Martin pointed to education in Cuba as an example of something we should have here. But in general, the packed house was happy to toss more questions her way on subjects from development to education.
But the most interesting questions at last night's forum weren't about the fringe candidates. They were directed at the hapless kid in a Gregnickels.com t-shirt attempting to record the event.Nickels was originally scheduled to attend the event, says campaign spokesman Sandeep Kaushik. But after the stabbing in South Park this weekend, the neighborhood called a meeting and Nickels agreed to attend.
Kaushik says he doesn't know if the campaign sent someone to track the debate but the moderator noticed the kid in the t-shirt recording the event and told him to put the camera away. But the third question posed by an audience member was about the camera. "The red light is still on," she said.
For the rest of the forum, every time Joe Mallahan (another mayoral wannabe) stood to answer a question, he made a point of saying his name clearly enough for Nickels to hear him. The moderator then informed the Nickels t-shirt wearer that if he didn't kill the camera she would take the tape.
Kaushik says he knows nothing about it.
Kaushik says the Nickels campaign did send a staffer to Horizon House last night. "It was a public campaign forum and we hoped to videotape the event but did not do so at the moderator's request," he says.